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Soundstreams Celebrates 40 Years Of Excellence In Canadian Music For 2022/23

The company aim remains to build bridges by bringing people together to explore themes that resonate in their communities.

New Canadian music stimulates and provokes 'cultural conversations', music with underlying themes that resonate with our time and place. A 'cultural conversation' is a form of storytelling: multiple participants interpret and respond to themes that ponder identities, values, attitudes and issues; and such conversations unfold over time. The company aim remains to build bridges by bringing people together to explore themes that resonate in their communities.

For this season we will offer programming which aims to broaden artistic horizons by featuring two Associate Curators from the community: Métis scholar Rena Roussin will curate two programs building upon "Indigenous Voices"; and first-generation Grenadian Canadian Cheldon Paterson, shapes programs exploring "sampling" in the hip-hop and new music communities.

In addition, Maziar Heidari, Saman Shahi and Keyan Emami from the Iranian Composers of Toronto will present a work that delves into the mind of a displaced person, the ongoing identity battle of a refugee, the constant daydreaming of an immigrant and their collective efforts to negotiate new meaning in the intersectionality of their lives.

The Encounters series offers a musical experience that is free and accessible to all. This special concert also marks the beginning of Soundstreams' 40th anniversary season's Encounters series. Seats are limited, patrons can reserve their free admission ticket by visiting Soundstreams website. Encounters strengthens the potential for all communities to have equitable access to the arts regardless of economic or social status, and to bridge differences across communities.

Encounters - Sacred Sounds: Creator, Christianity, and Finding Paths Forward

Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Ave, Toronto

December 1 @ 8pm

Artists: Rebecca Cuddy, mezzo-soprano, Roger Twance, trumpet, Rachael Kerr, piano, Rena Roussin, curator/moderator

In the first of these concerts, the company draws on music and meditative readings from Christian and Indigenous spiritual traditions. By bringing these faith systems into dialogue, the intention is to allow the concert to contain and contemplate across numerous contradictions.

The company acknowledges the reality that the Christian Church has caused irreparable and profound harm to Indigenous peoples and communities, while also acknowledging that numerous Indigenous people practice the Christian faith and have found joy and meaning in its music and teachings. At the same time, the company celebrates Indigenous spiritualties, Creator, and matriarchal spiritual practice through song and word. By also including music that thinks about space and place, the company strives to point to land and more-than-human relations as spiritual entities.

In bringing all of these practices together, the intention is to honour the diverse and multifaceted roles that faith can play in our lives and in society, while also considering histories of harm and how we might move forward in a spirit of healing, grace, and compassion.

Rena Roussin is a musicologist who studies art music and opera as activism, with an emphasis on strategies of anti-coloniality, Indigenous representations, and narrative sovereignty. She also studies historical constructions of disability and gender in music, and is currently completing her PhD in musicology at the University of Toronto. Rena is passionate about joining her academic work to applied work in the arts: in addition to her work with Soundstreams, she is a member of the Canadian Opera Company's Indigenous Circle of Artists and Musicologist-in-Residence for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. A reconnecting Indigenous person of Métis and settler background with additional Haida ancestry, Rena is honoured to be working with the Indigenous Encounters program, and hopes to use the opportunity to be of service to and amplify the voices of Indigenous artists from Tkaronto - land she is a guest on - and to acknowledge the many Indigenous communities, peoples, and stories that form Tkaronto's urban Indigenous community.

The Toronto Heliconian Club in Yorkville, will serve as the evening's venue for the event. It is the oldest association of its kind in Canada, founded in 1909 to give women in the arts and letters an opportunity to meet socially and intellectually. Members range from women who have earned great distinction to those in the early stages of their careers.



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